State Watch

Oregon governor names big game hunter to board that oversees gray wolf management


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has appointed an exotic game hunter — who has posted several photos of the animals he killed on Instagram — to the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The Willamette Week reports that Brown appointed James Nash last week to the body that is responsible, among other things, for managing the state’s wild wolf population.

A coalition of eight conservation groups penned a letter to Brown this week voicing their displeasure with Nash’s appointment and urging her to rescind it.

{mosads}”Our organizations were stunned to learn that the proposed slate of appointments to serve on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission follows the same broken model that has repeatedly failed wildlife and failed Oregonians,” the groups wrote, according to the Willamette Weekly. “We were dismayed to see so many appointees who represent the very industries the commission is supposed to regulate.”

The news outlet reported that Nash shared several since-deleted photos on Instagram of himself posing with dead animals, including a zebra and a hippopotamus. One caption reads: “Finally got my hippo skull back from Africa. First shot was 5 yards. Second shot, the gun barrel was touching it.”

Nash, who works as a rancher and hunting guide, also shared photos of a dead giant crocodile and a warthog, among others, according to the report.

Kate Kondayen, a spokesperson for Brown’s office, told the news outlet  the governor was previously unaware of the images reportedly posted on Nash’s Instagram profile.

“The idea that Governor Brown has changed course on this topic is not in line with her track record,” Kondayen told The Hill in a statement.

“Governor Brown has always kept balance and diverse experiences and backgrounds at the fore of her considerations of any board or commission in Oregon, as well as representing all regions from across the state,” Kondayen added. “Her appointments this round are a continuation of that track record, both in her role as Governor and in previous positions in state government.”

There is currently a debate in Oregon on how to handle the recent reintroduction of wolves in the state, with a wolf-management plan currently pending.

Steve Pedery, conservation director of Oregon Wild, called Nash’s appointment “a giant middle finger to the conservation community.” 

“It’s like putting Donald Trump Jr. on an electoral reform commission,” he told the paper.

The Oregon Senate Rules Committee will decide on Brown’s nominations for the board next month.

Updated at 4:19 p.m.

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